Petrópolis, Brazil’s imperial city, does not only attract visitors for its climate and pleasant surroundings, but also for the cultural and historic sights to be discovered during this excursion such as the former Summer Palace of the second Brazilian Emperor, now a museum on the history of the imperial era.
What we will see
- Catedral São Pedro de Alcântara
- Imperial Museum
- Santos-Dumont Museum
What we will do
- We leave the port behind us and head to Petrópolis, Brazil’s imperial city 65 km from Rio de Janeiro. Nestled among the wooded hills of Serra dos Órgãos in the valley of the rivers Quitandinha and Piabanha, Petrópolis is now a renowned tourist destination.
- We stop to see Quitandinha, an important building which is now a congress centre but which used to be the largest casino in Latin America. It was active for only two years as Brazil banned gambling in 1946.
- We then stop to see the São Pedro de Alcântara cathedral, a French Neo-Gothic place of worship dating back to 1939. The building is 70 metres high and houses the Imperial Mausoleum, which contains the tombs of Dom Pedro II, his wife Dona Teresa Cristina, their daughter Princess Isabel and her husband the Count of Eu.
- Afterwards, we reach the Imperial Museum, the main sight in Petrópolis. Once the summer residence of the ruling family, the museum now displays the personal belongings of Emperor Dom Pedro II and his family including paintings, carpets and the golden imperial crown, decorated with 639 diamonds and weighing 1.72 kg, made in 1841 for the Emperor's coronation. We also see the carriage hall and the imperial locomotive.
- We then stop for lunch and continue with a visit of another interesting museum, the Santos-Dumont museum. The building, also known as "A Encantada", was designed by scientist and inventor Santos-Dumont, the father of aviation. It was erected in 1918 and, after being the scientist's private residence, it was turned into a museum in 1946. Prestigious furniture and decorative objects are on display.
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